It’s hard to believe that we’re already in October. Three months remain in 2016 and three months remain before the VFD rule goes into effect. While this rule change does not affect any CRYSTALYX® products, we want to be sure that you are well versed in what will be affected and what you will need to do. Below are 5 more questions that have come from the field as the deadline draws near.
Parts of the country are fortunate to have excellent pasture conditions. Large portions of the Eastern and Southeastern US are well above normal for rainfall which has kept pastures conditions in the good to excellent range for most of the grazing season. I have not seen this much grass in mid-August in the area I travel in several years. For the most part producers have built up hay inventories. Other parts of the country have not been as fortunate and will need to begin feeding hay earlier than desired.
My weekly chat with my mom reminded me that it’s county fair time in the northern parts of the US. While we’re lucky to not have the oppressive heat and humidity that some of the southern states have, it can and does get hot and humid. I recall a few show days from my 4-H years that were extra hot and a break in the shade with a wet towel was in order. This week, I thought I would share some thoughts on keeping everyone safe while at the fair.
The dairy industry is celebrated throughout the month of June with Dairy Breakfast and Farm City Days. These are excellent events where dairy producers are able to offer the food consumer a glimpse into the daily activities and workings of a dairy farm. Farms that are hosting these events deserve a big THANK YOU from not only the visiting consumers but from the rest of the agriculture community. Collectively, the animal agriculture industry needs more of these type of events to foster a higher level of consumer confidence in the safety of the food supply and a better understanding of the effort and dedication it takes to care for our animals. Heat stress abatement strategies and feeding management is one of the areas we can highlight for the consumer. Officially, summer begins on June 21st, however heat stress is beginning to impact dairy cattle in many parts of the country.
I’m a huge football fan. As I sit here writing, it’s the first day of spring practice for my son’s football team. And on this day, it’s easy to observe which boys worked hard during the off-season and which didn’t. Who’s vying for a starter’s position and who’s in danger of being cut. In football the ground work for a successful program is laid in the many months leading up to the first practice, let alone the first game. One can draw similar comparisons when speaking about calving season with beef producers.
With each new season there are things that we look forward to like green grass, warm days and watching the new calf crop develop. One thing we and our cattle do not look forward to is the suffering, annoyance and general loss of performance that excessive fly pressure can create. We have recently expanded our fly control options available in the CRYSTALYX® self-fed supplment line.
Organic or Natural were terms that seemed pretty descriptive and easily understood years ago when describing nutritional supplements used in Livestock production. That was then and now they have seemed to take on lives of their own as they can now also be used to describe very detailed marketing programs resulting in value-added products in both crop and livestock production. With the broader use of both Natural and Organic, we have found confusion with livestock producers when matching supplements to meet not only their nutritional needs but also complying with any marketing programs that they are targeting for specific animals.
The time between Christmas and the New Year is a special time of the year. All the festivities surrounding Christmas are still being celebrated and the preparation for the end of the year or the New Year, however you view it, is fully at hand. It’s normally a time for families to get together and often reminisce about the past year(s).
We are just over 12 months away from the Veterinary Feed Directive being fully implemented in January of 2017. We will still have antibiotics for the prevention and treatment of disease but with added paper work and expense.
In light of recent drops in cattle prices, it is understandable that cattle producers are looking for ways to protect their investments. One such way is to reduce input costs. Considering that 80% of the cost of raising cattle comes from feed, one obvious way to do this is to optimize digestion efficiency. We can optimize digestion efficiency through two simple concepts- feed the rumen and protect the gut.